RUBY WAX has gone from interviewing stars such as Pamela Anderson to gaining a Masters-degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Oxford.
The affable American has ditched the world of entertainment to write about neuroscience and her journey of self-discovery through her own mind.
It's quite a turnaround for Ruby, who kicked off her Sane New World - The Tour in Brighton this week.
The tour - which runs throughout the UK until May - is based on her best-selling book Sane New World: Taming the Mind (Hodder & Stoughton, £18.99).
"It is a pretty big leap," Ruby admitted to me. "The show is basically a comedy version of my dissertation.
"I have taken a really interesting subject and spun it into some sort of comedy."
The book aims to help the reader understand how they sabotage their sanity, how their brains work and how they can rewire their thinking, often through simple mindfulness techniques.
But her interest in the subject stems from a personal level, too, as she suffered from depression for many years.
A campaigner for mental illness in the UK, Ruby said: "We know so much about how the world works, but so little about how our own minds work.
"It is like having a Ferrari on top of your head, but no one gave you the keys. We are all the same under our scalps.
"We are not equipped for this century - it is too hard, too fast, and too full of fear. We just don't have the bandwidth.
"Our brains can't take so much information in a world where we are bombarded by bad news and force-fed information.
"I can just about take in the weather, then I am exhausted. You open a newspaper, everyone is dead.
"We are only supposed to know what our neighbour is up to - if the woman next door to you is having sex with the man next door to her, we need to know, but four doors down and it is none of our business."
Born and raised in Illinois as Ruby Wachs to Austrian Jewish parents, who left the country before the Second World War, she admits that her parents were rarely happy with her.
Her mother remained disparaging about her career throughout her life, too.
Ruby, 60, explained: "They were not well - my mom probably had bipolar and my dad something else.
"When I became well-known they showed articles on me to the milkman and told me people were laughing at me.
"It definitely had an affect on my self-esteem, but now I understand why they were like that."
Ruby, who lives in London and is married to television producer Ed Bye, had originally planned to read psychology at the University of California, in Berkeley.
But she turned her back on America and headed to Britain, studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and then with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
She recalled: "I had delusions that I would become an actress, but then I realised I wasn't a good actress.
"It was a big culture shock, though, because I didn't know anybody in Britain.
"I pretty much wanted to get away from America, but I didn't cope really any better being here then I did there."
Despite her self-doubt, Ruby enjoyed huge success in her adopted country.
She wrote and performed in her own television programmes for the BBC and Channel 4 and was script editor on all series of hit comedy Absolutely Fabulous.
She also enjoyed critical acclaim with her 1996 BBC series Ruby Wax Meets, where she interviewed such names as Baywatch star Anderson and Imelda Marcos.
Ruby was nominated the same year for a BAFTA award for her interview with Sarah, the Duchess of York.
Depression saw her end up at The Priory clinic, before she decided to enrol on a Masters course at Kellogg College, Oxford.
Ruby recalled: "I was so excited to do it - there was no doubt in my mind that I could do it.
"Even if they didn't take me, I knew I would do it anyway."
She explained that she didn't have a particularly Jewish upbringing and would eat Jewish food at friends' or neighbours' homes.
"My mom was scared of crumbs, which was a particular problem with matzo," Ruby mused.
"I did go to Sunday school, but I don't think I ever saw myself as 'Jewish' - I don't like to have a label.
"Saying that, when I am talking with another Jew, I can talk greater than anyone else."
She began her tour in South Africa, where she has a home in Cape Town.
"It is educational and hilarious - I think the audience will learn about who they are," Ruby enthused.